Butter Pecan Cake

Butter Pecan Cake | Bake or Break
Butter Pecan Cake | Bake or Break

It’s been a while since I had a non-chocolate recipe on BoB. Personally, I don’t think there’s any such thing as too much chocolate, but maybe variety isn’t such a bad thing, either.

Granted, this cake does have a bit of white chocolate in it, but I don’t count that. White chocolate is an entirely different entity in my book. In fact, I’m not normally a big fan of the stuff. It’s usually far too sweet for my liking. (Did I really just type that?!?) If any recipe can make me change my mind, it’s this one.

I found this recipe while flipping through Christmas With Southern Living 2005. I have no idea how I skipped over it back then. Having made and tasted this cake, I am so sad for my past self that it took me four years to get around to making it.

Nuts and white chocolate make this Butter Pecan Cake a delicious, irresistible dessert. - Bake or Break

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You can tell by the photos that this three-layer cake looks suspiciously like a two-layer cake. Honestly, that’s what happens when one layer doesn’t quite turn out the way you want. That turned out to be a good thing. Quinn, the official froster of the BoB kitchen, thinks that making the frosting cover an extra layer would have been a challenge.

I must say that this cake is fabulous. It is definitely near the top of my list of favorite cakes. The white chocolate is not overpowering. The cake is just right. And that frosting! I could be happy with a shot of that for dessert any time.

This cake is just as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s a great dessert for a special occasion or to make an everyday occasion special.

For more cake recipes, come browse Bake or Break’s Recipe Index.

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Butter Pecan Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Butter Pecan Cake


    For the frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the cake:
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • toasted pecan halves for garnishing, if desired


To make the frosting:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in buttered pecans and vanilla. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

To make the cake:

Place white chocolate in a bowl and pour boiling water over it, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in melted white chocolate and vanilla.

Combine buttermilk and baking soda. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture. Begin and end with flour. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended.

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread frosting between layers and on the top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Store in refrigerator.


Recipe adapted from Christmas with Southern Living 2005.

This is indeed a 3-layer cake, despite the fact that I only used 2 layers. That just made for a higher frosting to cake ratio!